H: 6' 9"|
W: 230 lbs
(27 Years Old)
|RSCI: 20||Agent: Lance Young ||
High School: Seton Hall Prep
Hometown: West Orange, NJ
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NCAA/NIT Tournament Stock Watch, Rumor Mill|
March 24, 2009
North Carolina State yesterday announced that junior power forward Brandon Costner is leaving the program, despite possessing a year of college eligibility. Costner, a highly touted high school player who was recruited by Herb Sendek, was forced to redshirt his first season after suffering a stress fracture in his foot. Many, including us, had high hopes after seeing him dominate the ACC tournament as a freshman, helping N.C. State reach the championship game, where they lost to North Carolina. Heís been very up and down since then, struggling with conditioning issues and poor shot-selection, and clearly never quite buying into Sidney Loweís system. N.C. State won just 10 of 32 games in the ACC over the past two seasons, and failed to advance to a post-season tournament in either year. According to the Winston-Salem Journal article, Costner will receive his degree this summer. From what weíve seen, Costner is likely a long-shot to get drafted, as heís not particularly athletic, is a poor rebounder and defender, and is not quite skilled enough on the perimeter to make a living in the NBA strictly as a face-up power forward. With no NBA pre-draft games this year, Costner might have a hard time proving that heís that much different of a player than was able to show at N.C. State. There is clearly a market for players with his size and skill-set in Europe, though, and Costner should be able to make a good living playing overseas.
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Top NBA Draft Prospects in the ACC (Part Four: #16-20)
October 17, 2008
After a promising freshman season, Brandon Costner really disappointed as a sophomore, with his numbers going down across the board, and significantly so in many categories. A reduction in minutes and touches can account for some of his issues, as he deferred to freshman J.J. Hickson, who came in and was the instant focal point of their offense, but thereís no excuse for his FG% dropping over 10 points when his usage actually decreased as well.
According to reports, Costner is ready to put last season behind him and move forward, as heís convinced heís still the player he was as a freshman, and is intent on proving such. He said heís hit the gym hard this offseason, trying to improving his athleticism, while losing a reported 11 pounds already. This should help his game out significantly, and heíll have every chance to show it, as his minutes and touches should return to what they were two seasons ago.
In analyzing last season, itís tough to really explain what went wrong for Costner. Many have pointed to Hickson and how he changed the dynamic of NC Stateís team, but itís tough to blame Hickson for Costnerís woes when Hickson was less turnover prone and far more efficient and productive than Costner, while doing it on higher usage to boot. Costnerís inability to adjust to a supporting role when he was put out of his comfort zone is a considerable red flag in projecting him to the next level, because heís not going to be an offensive focal point if he makes it in the NBA.
Looking at Costnerís game, there still is a lot to like, starting with his strong frame and versatility on the offensive end. While his consistency was terrible last season, he showed flashes of the things he excelled with a season earlier, taking defenders off the dribble from the perimeter for one. He seems to have improved his handle with his right hand a bit (heís a lefty), and is dangerous attacking in either direction from the perimeter, though he still isnít a great finisher with his right. Heís not very quick with the ball, but he has excellent fluidity and coordination for his size, and is able to take advantage of mismatches with a lot of bigs at this level. Itís questionable how this segment of his game will translate to the next level at either the 3 or the 4.
In the post, Costnerís game fell off this season, with his efficiency going down noticeably. He has a nice assortment of moves along with good footwork, mixing in turnaround jumpers and pivot moves to get the job done. He has nice touch around the rim, but his lack of explosiveness leaves him prone to having his shot blocked. His reported work in the gym this offseason should help here.
The area where Costnerís game fell off the most last season was with his jump shot, as his 3PT% fell from 38% to 31%, with his mid-range shot falling off as well. According to Synergy Sports Technology, Costner scored 1.17 points per possession on catch and shoot situations in 2006-07, but fell sharply to 0.75 in 07-08. Seeing Costner miss wide open threes by a few feet is something that happened on quite a few occasions this season, leading you to believe that many of his problems had more to do with the mental side of things rather than any talent deficiencies.
Defensively, heís still a major question mark projecting to the next level, as he doesnít have great height or explosiveness to guard power forwards, while his lateral quickness will be a big problem for him guarding small forwards. Again, it will be interesting to see how his improvements to his body in the offseason affect this area of his game. This is likely always going to be a huge factor holding him back.
Looking at the NBA, Costner is a real question mark for a lot of reasons, ranging from questions about his size to his athleticism to his conditioning to his position to his drastic decline in proficiency this past season. Thereís no denying that heís still a quite skilled player, though, and he definitely has potential, though heís going to need to come back strong this season. A year older than most players his class, heís not the type who can just rely on his upside to get him attention from scouts. Heís going to need to be convincing on the court, producing and winning games, to get himself back into draft discussions.
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Top NBA Draft Prospects in the ACC (Part One: #1-#5)
September 26, 2007
Entering a freshman season with much promise, Brandon Costner played just 5 games before sitting out the rest of the season because of a stress fracture. The former McDonalds All-American was awarded a medical red-shirt allowing him to keep 4 years of eligibility, and he stormed back during his red-shirt freshman season, capped off by an MVP performance in the ACC Tournament. As a sophomore, Costner will be the #1 option for Sidney Loweís team, and has a chance to really put himself in the national spotlight.
When examining Costner, one can be easily reminded of Ryan Gomes, a crafty combo-forward who plays physical inside, but can step outside and knock down the jumper as well. A good portion of Costnerís baskets last season came from his consistent shooting stroke, (38% 3P), a very good clip considering he attempted over four 3-pointers per game. The sophomore also possesses very good ball handling skills, particularly with his dominant left hand. When matched against a slower player, he has no problem going to the basket, and uses his bulk to push defenders away and draw fouls in the paint.
Unlike many perimeter oriented big man, Costner has a post game that nicely compliments his play away from the basket. He shows above average quickness with his back to the basket, combined with great footwork that includes a number of spin and hesitation moves to fake out his defender in the low post. A well built frame allows Costner to gain position against taller defenders on both ends of the floor, which aides him in both post scoring and rebounding. When doubled in the low post, the sophomore big shows a very nice feel for the game, and has no problem finding the open shooter on the perimeter.
There are a few key things that scouts will look for in Costnerís game this season, starting with his right hand. On drives to the right of the basket last season, he still chose to finish left hand shots across his body. These shots fell with a limited success rate, and it would improve his effectiveness as a scorer to develop a right hand. Physically, Costner ranks as just an average overall athlete, and he lacks the ideal height youíd like to see from a power forward in the NBA. Defensively, he gets burned often against smaller players due to a lack of lateral quickness, which may limit his future as an NBA small forward.
Costner had himself a great season last year, emerging under the national spotlight late in the season, and moving his way up the draft boards of many NBA teams. He will really have a chance to shine the ACC this season, and at 20 years old, he can seriously begin to weigh his draft options if he improves on his successful freshman season.
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NBA Draft Stock Watch: Conference Tournament Week (Part Three)
March 14, 2007
Easily the MVP of the ACC tournament, Brandon Costner wrapped up a phenomenal (redshirt) freshman season with an incredible showing over four days in Tampa. He played a total of 151 minutes (nearly 38 minutes per game) despite participating in four straight games from Thursday through Sunday, something that even NBA players donít ever have to do. Despite the obvious fatigue that had to take its toll, Costner was an absolute devastating force for the Wolfpack, playing terrific basketball while matched up against some of the best NBA draft prospect big men the ACC has to offer.
Costner is the perfect fit at the power forward slot in Sidney Loweís Flex offense. A natural lefty, Costner is equally effective with his back to the basket as he is facing it. He is an excellent ball-handler with his left hand, and has a pretty stroke with range that extends all the way to the college 3-point line. Most perimeter oriented big men are known more for their finesse rather than their toughness, but Costner is an extremely aggressive player who puts tremendous pressure on the defense and does not shy away from contact. Heís not overwhelmingly quick in his first step, but is extremely smart and crafty, particularly in the way he uses the glass to finish around the hoop. Heís a patient guy who takes what the defense gives him and is highly intelligent in the way he moves off the ball in the half-court, setting screens nicely and doing a good job making sharp cuts to the basket for easy finishes.
Once Costner gets to the rim, he lacks a bit of explosiveness to finish in traffic, being more likely to finish with a layup rather than a dunk, but is smart enough to know how to draw fouls and get to his noticeably stronger hand, his left. He got to the free throw line over 8 times per game in the tournament, and showed a very soft touch there knocking down his shots.
In the post, Costner is blessed with an outstanding frame and has excellent footwork and a great understanding of how to use fakes and pivot moves to get his man in the air. His touch is excellent once again here, and if faced with a double team, shows terrific court vision (like all of NC Stateís players) to find the open man spotting up or cutting to the rim.
After having the pleasure of taking in a couple of his performances this past weekend in person, there is little doubt in our mind that Costner will emerge as one of the best big men in the ACC, likely as soon as next year. The only question we have is, just how good of an NBA prospect will scouts consider him to be? Only standing 6-8, Costner has the frame but not the prototypical height of an NBA power forward. He is just an average athlete on top of that, which shows up most noticeably on the defensive end, where he struggles with his lateral quickness and does not really go out of his area for rebounds. Offensively, he could still stand to improve his off-hand, as itís not hard to tell that he favors his left strongly and will even switch hands in mid-air while on the right side of the post to avoid having to finish with his right. In terms of an NBA comparison, think of a mix between Brian Cook and Ryan Gomes.
NC State ran out of gas in the ACC Championship game against North Carolina and was not able to pull off the Cinderella upset to secure the automatic bid for the NCAA tournament, but few will forget the heart this young team showed off in winning their first three games. Returning most of their core, minus Engin Atsur, this team will be one to look out for next year and should be able to win an at-large bid next year with all the talent they possess and with the terrific coaching of Sidney Lowe. At the forefront of that effort will be their smooth and versatile power forward, Brandon Costner.
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Adidas Derby Classic Recap
April 19, 2005
Costner is another one of those guys who just go out there and produce. He a power forward who likes to step out and knock down the three point shot. Due to his lack of height, he will definitely have to make the transformation to small forward for the NBA, which will probably be hard. Brandon looks somewhat slow and doesn't have the necessary ball handling skills for a WF. Right now, I cannot see him as an NBA prospect unless he works on his athleticism and ball handling over his time at NC St.
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